C-19 Challenge: Funded projects

Using data and digital tools to support COVID-19 recovery across local government

The Local Digital C-19 Challenge was launched in July 2020 to find Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) projects to help local authorities in England with their COVID-19 recovery and renewal efforts.

11 local government projects have been awarded a share of £800,000 to combat some of the challenges they faced as a direct result of COVID-19. You can read more about the challenge and process in this blog post.

About the challenge

  • Applications were invited in three thematic areas: data and reporting, community and engagement and developing new working practices
  • Projects are expected to deliver a product or outcome within 2 months
  • Project outputs must be relevant to, and reusable by other councils
  • You can read the full criteria in our challenge prospectus
  • How to follow our projects

    • We'll be sharing fortnightly C-19 Challenge Highlights on our LDCU Medium Publication 
    • Follow @LDgovUK on Twitter for latest news and updates
    • This page will be updated with links to individual project content once they have all kicked off

    How busy is Toon: Citizen focused data sharing to encourage economic renewal

    Lead council: Newcastle City Council

    Funding: £67,000

    Project overview

    This project is developing a digital tool to identify where parts of a city are overcrowded and breach social distancing requirements, which disseminates information to citizens so they can make informed decisions about their movements.

    How to follow this project

    Inclusive digital place-based engagement

    Lead council: London Borough of Camden

    Partners: Middlesbrough Council

    Funding: £80,000

    Project overview

    This project will develop practical approaches and tools for digital place-based engagement to ensure local people and businesses can still have a meaningful say on planning projects, including major planning applications and town centre renewals, as physical distancing restrictions are eased.

    How to follow this project

    Improving data exchange with VCS

    Lead councils: Greater London Authority, Camden Council and London Office of Technology and Innovation (LOTI)

    Partners: Central Bedfordshire Council

    Funding: £80,000

    Project overview

    This project aims to improve information flows between councils and Voluntary Community Services (VCS) so that they can better support vulnerable residents and communities in the post COVID-19 environment. They will use their funding to discover, prototype and test a solution to data exchange that is reliable, scalable and reusable.

    How to follow this project

    Community engagement playbook

    Lead councils: South Gloucestershire Council and Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames

    Partners: Sutton Council, West Berkshire Council, LGSS, Oxford City Council, Staffordshire County Council, Northamptonshire County Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, Waltham Forest Council and London Office of Technology and Innovation (LOTI)

    Funding: £80,000

    Project overview

    This discovery project will aim to utilise work ongoing in all of the partner organisations and work that has previously been undertaken by LOTI coupled with citizen user research to develop a ‘playbook’ that will include systems and tools councils can use for various forms of public engagement.

    Beach check application

    Lead council: Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council

    Funding: £34,000

    Project overview

    This project will be using their funding to add extra functionality to a smartphone application they have developed, which will help to prevent overcrowding on its beaches by telling people how busy sections are so they can do their bit to help maintain social distancing.

    You can download the app for free from Google Play and the Apple App Store.

    Future Work Design

    Lead councils: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

    Partners: North East Lincolnshire Council, Hull City Council and North Lincolnshire Council

    Funding: £76,000

    Project overview

    This project is designing future working patterns, a methodology to design new ways of working in a post COVID-19 world,  to ensure staff remain safe, productive and develop innovations into future working practices.

    Developing a crisis response model to support neighbourhood team delivery

    Lead council: Manchester City Council

    Funding: £80,000

    Project overview

    This project will be using the lessons learnt from COVID-19 to improve the response of council neighbourhood teams to emergencies and need for support.

    Modelling demand for post COVID-19 surge in children’s services

    Lead council: The Greater Manchester Combined Authority

    Funding: £80,000

    Project overview

    This urgent project is looking to model and anticipate the forthcoming wave of demand to help vulnerable children and families emerge out of the constraints of lock down.

    Collaborative playbook for digital inclusion

    Lead council: Croydon Council & Leeds Council

    Partners: Age UK Croydon & TechResort

    Funding: £80,000

    Project overview

    This project intends to tackle the real world challenges and chronic lack of digital capability in certain communities across the UK.

    Individuals lack access to kit, connectivity and skills, while many SMEs lack the know-how to trade successfully. 

    The output will be a comprehensive playbook that addresses the needs of multiple audiences in one go, as well as factoring in the challenges introduced from lockdown and social distancing.

    Enabling Digital Conversations

    Lead council: Bolton Council

    Funding: £23,000

    Project overview

    The focus of this project is to create a low-contact face-to-face experience for residents who do not have access to digital alternatives. This will create digital meeting points at council access points to allow interaction with service officers via video-conferencing. These bookable appointments will let those residents who need to interact face-to-face to have a safer, reassuring experience and improve officer productivity.

    Collaborative project between Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council & Huntingdon Councils

    Project overview

    This collaborative partnership is a joint venture combining two projects that had significant overlap between them.  By working in partnership, the outputs from Huntingdonshire will support Tameside in the development of their standards, and in return Huntigdonshire will be able to test the standards they are developing “in the wild”. Due to the overlap, these projects will be working closely and splitting the allotted funds between them. There is more information on each below. 

    Funding: £120,000

    Data and standards for a scalable approach to vulnerability

    Lead council: Tameside Council

    Partners: Greater Manchester Combined Authority, iNetwork, iStandUK, North Yorkshire County Council, Sedgemoor District Council, and Somerset Councils

    Project overview

    This project will propose the data and standards that can improve how local councils can find vulnerable people and households, and then promote a coordinated multi-agency response.

    *This project is part of the Tameside and Huntingdonshire collaboration.

    Impact of COVID-19 and social vulnerability: Changing lives through understanding and managing risk

    Lead council: Huntingdonshire District Council

    Partners: South Cambridgeshire District Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Cambridge City Council

    Project overview

    This project aims to Validate the existing ‘life event risk scoring’ model and to develop a set of action plans for ‘multi-agency intervention and action tracking’ all of which are recorded within a standards compliant application.

    *This project is part of the Tameside and Huntingdonshire collaboration.